Parties get thumbs up from IEBC for requiring aspirants to pass integrity test

March 16, 2017 3:46 pm
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Speaking during a stakeholders’ consultative forum on election preparedness, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati commended political parties that have directed their members to comply with the requirement/JUDICIARY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is set to issue guidelines next week on compliance to Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Leadership Integrity Act by politicians eyeing elective seats.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ consultative forum on election preparedness, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati commended political parties that have directed their members to comply with the requirement, saying they were acting within provisions of the law.

“Clearance of candidates and enforcement of Chapter Six of the Constitution is here with us to stay. I am very happy that some political parties are insisting on the adherence to this requirement during their nominations,” Chebukati said Thursday.

He however noted that clarity on how exactly the various agencies tasked with clearing politicians aspiring for various positions was needed in order to make the compliance process seamless.

“As the law stands now, it is not very clear. We had a meeting with the different stakeholders and formed a small team to look into all aspects of these regulations and the team will conclude its work tomorrow and we issue shall be issuing guidelines next week on what is to be done,” said Chebukati.

This comes as activist Okiya Omtatah moved to court early March to block political parties from compelling aspirants to present clearance certificates from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and a Credit Reference Bureau.

Omtatah who is also the Executive Director Kenyans for Justice Development (KEJUDE) Trust argued that the Jubilee Party (JP), Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) and Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) acted in violation of the law which presumes the innocence of accused persons until proven guilty, in demanding for certificates from the said bodies from its members seeking to vie for political office in the August 8 election.

He stated that the clearance by the various agencies for individuals contesting for leadership in the forthcoming election was not clearly defined in law and hence the entire process was an illegality.

JP had earlier in March rejected nomination papers of former Mungiki chief Maina Njenga who was seeking to run for the Laikipia Senate seat through the party’s ticket igniting a public debate on whether or not Njenga should have been denied an opportunity to contest.

Njenga later moved to court seeking the nullification of the decision by JP saying it infringed on his political rights.

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